It is not unusual to find a random bag or box of produce on our doorstep. Especially in autumn when fruit is plentiful and there is more than enough to go around, a kind neighbour or friend will often drop off their excess. This has been a welcome gift this year due to the low harvest of many of our fruit trees. Usually by now we have over 100 jars of preserves stored away in the pantry. This year, only around 20. It has been a bad year, with not enough sun, too much rain and high winds right at the crucial fruit setting time. So, when I came home to a box of figs on my doorstep recently it was like Christmas!

The figs were gifted from my friend Emily whose family has a large fig and feijoa orchard, Old Road Estate, in Marlborough. The large tray of figs that arrived was rather impressive, and I  squeezed as much out of it as I possibly could. Including a batch of my favourite Slow-cooked Fig & Lemon Jam plus a repeat of my Rustic Fig Tart from this time last year. And with a handful of figs to spare and some local crafted chocolate in the pantry I decided to make a chocolate and fig torte. The sweet caramelised figs are the perfect match for the dense fudge-cake texture of the torte. If figs are not available (or your tree didn’t produce any fruit like ours 🙁 ) then wedges of pear would also be a great topping here.

*If you make this torte I would love to see your creations, please share them with me on Instagram @homegrownkitchen or Facebook.

Fig & Chocolate Torte

I use a small quantity of chestnut flour in this torte as it matches perfectly with the dark chocolate and autumnal figs. I order it directly from Golden Fields in Canterbury (along with my favouite dandelion coffee), a little goes a long way! You can replace 1/4 - 1/3 of the flour in recipes with chestnut flour for a sweet and earthy flavour. Plain wheat flour, spelt or buckwheat can be used in place of the chestnut flour.


150g butter

150g 70% dark chocolate - I used Hogarth Craft Chocolate single origin Peru

4 free range eggs

3 tablespoon muscovado sugar or sweetener of choice

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons chestnut flour or plain flour

5-6 ripe figs, halved, or quartered if large


  • Preheat oven 175°C. Line and grease a 10 x 30cm rectangular tart tin or 25cm round cake tin.
  • Melt butter gently in a saucepan and add chopped chocolate stirring until melted together. Remove from the heat. Beat together the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla until creamy. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture, beating to combine. Fold through the flour. Pour into the lined tin, top with the fig halves and bake for 25 minutes. A bit of wobble in the middle is ideal. Cool completely in the tin. Serve for afternoon tea with a cuppa dandelion coffee.













  • Karen Wylaars
    11 months ago

    Hi Nicola
    Have to say I’m absolutely loving your cook book. Possibly my all time favourite and believe me, I have a fair few. Have been perfecting your sourdough which is by far the best recipe and set of instructions I’ve found in the two years I’ve been experimenting with sour dough. Kids LOVE.the crumpets!! A real hit.

    Any chance you’re heading to Christchurch any time soon?

    Love your work.

    • 11 months ago

      Thanks so much Karen, your lovely feedback is wonderful to hear. It is my hope with the book that it will be referred to often. Great to hear you are enjoying the sourdough recipes, I love baking bread so much that I can’t imagine it not being a part of my life! And I wanted to share this with others and make it is as achievable as possible because sourdough does tend to have a life of its own 😉
      Yes, I will be back in Chch in term 3, I haven’t got the exact date confirmed yet but will share it on here when I do, so keep an eye out,
      Thanks again, Nicola

  • lene
    10 months ago

    Heya, I assume you just dump the figs in to the cake before baking..:)

    • 10 months ago

      Hi Lene, yes that is correct. Once the batter is in the tin top with the fig halves and bake. I have updated the recipe, thanks for checking!

  • dave
    10 months ago

    looks good

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